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Cleaning vintage clothes

cate | Posted in General Discussion on

I have recently acquired a beautiful 40-50’s organza cocktail dress that has some spots on the skirt. The dress is in perfect condition with the exception of the spots.

I have contacted the local vintage clothing stores for advise and checked on line on how to clean it. I am unsure of the origin of the spots but they are reddish in color and probably food or wine. Any advise on how to get the dress cleaned without ruining it. Thanks!

Cate


Edited 11/5/2004 3:09 pm ET by Cate

Replies

  1. SewTruTerry | | #1

    How big are the stains and do they actually look like a spill or could it be a case of mildew?  The next question would be whether the material is actually silk, rayon, or polyester?  That would then tell you how to treat the stains. I would first determine the fabric content and if possible try to figure out the stains.  If the material is washable a solution of borax with some detergent will get most organic stains out.  However it might be better to send it to a specialist for recommendations.  By this I do not mean your local dry-cleaners.  I would look at the local historical society or textile museum curator if possible.

    1. cate | | #2

      The stains are small and look like dribbling liquid spots...small clusters in different places, dark rusty red in color. I don't see any mildew.

      The actual content of the fabric is unknown. There is a label inside that shows it was made at a ILGWU facility, but no maker or care/content label. I am meeting with a friend who is going to help me with a burn test to see if we can determine the fabric. Since I am in Los Angeles, I will contact the county museum textile division for their advise.

      Thanks for your help!

      Cate

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